Mid-life and physical activity

Research Question: Which are effective* interventions to maintain and/or increase physical activity for people in mid-life**? https://www.nihr.ac.uk/documents/1639-mid-life-and-physical-activity/11760

*‘Effectiveness’ in this context relates not only to the size of the effect, but it also takes into account any harmful or negative side effects, including inequitable outcomes.
** Mid-life can be defined as adults aged 40–64 years for the general population (as defined in the NICE Public Health Guidance: Disability, dementia and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to prevention). The population studied should cover at least part of this age range but may include older or younger ages where appropriate.
Population: Adults aged 40-64
Intervention (non-NHS): may include population-level or targeted interventions that focus on promoting physical activity amongst people in mid-life. This may include interventions taking place within leisure time, or that incorporate physical activity into daily routine or in the workplace. Interventions addressing barriers or facilitators to physical activity may also be considered. Interventions may also address other health behaviours.
Comparator: Not Specified
Outcomes: primary outcome must be health related and research must include an appropriate, objective measure of physical activity. Examples of other outcomes include: wellbeing, measures of change in weight, health-related quality of life measures, behaviour change. Longer term outcomes and sustainability of behaviour change are of importance, researchers to specify and justify study design and indicate how long term impact will be assessed. Researchers should identify the theoretical basis of their proposed interventions and may include a logic model to explain underlying context, theory and mechanisms to justify their approach to evaluation.
Commissioning brief: Studies should generate evidence to inform the implementation of single or multi-component interventions. Studies may include evidence syntheses, studies evaluating interventions, including trials, quasi- and natural experimental evaluations, and feasibility and pilot studies for these. We welcome applications for linked studies (e.g. pilot + main evaluation). Secondary analyses of existing epidemiological data and/or impact modelling studies may also be funded. We encourage the adoption of a systems perspective where appropriate to the study context. In all cases a strong justification for the chosen design and methods must be made.

The primary outcome measure of the research, if not necessarily the intervention itself, must be health-related. The positive or negative impacts of the intervention, including inequitable outcomes should be considered.  Researchers are asked to indicate how long-term impacts will be assessed. All applications should identify underlying theory and include a logic model (or equivalent) to help explain underlying context, theory and mechanisms. Proposals should ensure adequate public involvement in the research.
For all proposals, applicants should clearly state the public health utility of the outcomes and the mechanisms by which they will inform future public health policy and practice. Details about the potential pathway to impact and scalability of interventions, if shown to have an effect, should be provided, including an indication of which organisation(s) might fund the relevant intervention(s) if widely implemented.
Representatives of policy or practice communities relevant to the project should be directly engaged or involved with the development and delivery of PHR research because this produces research that is more closely grounded in, and reflective of, their concerns and makes the subsequent uptake and application of research findings more likely. By policy or practice, we mean any organisation that is involved in shaping policy or delivering public health services relevant to the research, whether at local or national levels. This might include local authorities, charities, voluntary organisations, professional bodies, commercial organisations, governmental and arms-length bodies.